Archive for December 2017

Hawthorne Closing Day Picks and Ponderings

Hawthorne’s closing day has come upon us even more quickly than expected: in light of Saturday’s anticipated high of eight degrees, Saturday’s card has been cancelled.  Friday’s ten-race program will thus mark closing day of the Thoroughbred meet. Hawthorne will not be without horses for long, since the winter harness meet starts on January 5.  But... Read more »

2017 Malibu Stakes Day Preview

After a quiet week and a half in Southern California, the Santa Anita winter meet opens up on Tuesday, December 26 at Santa Anita.  The opening day card features a four-pack of stakes: opening-day mainstays the Malibu Stakes (G1), La Brea Stakes (G1), and Mathis Brothers Mile (G2) for sophomores, as well as the newly... Read more »

Hawthorne Carryover Late Pick 4: December 16, 2017

After a day of speed, speed, and more speed, Jochero rallied furiously from last to run down pacesetter The Mess in Friday’s Hawthorne finale.  A 50/1 longshot, Jochero enabled a single astute handicapper to scoop the late Pick 3 pool to the tune of over $10K.  The longshot’s victory was also enough to trigger a... Read more »

2017 Remington Springboard Mile Day Preview

The stakes season at Hawthorne may be over, but that means Picks and Ponderings now turns eyes afield to the early-stage Kentucky Derby preps.  Sunday the road to the Kentucky Derby visits Oklahoma for the first time, and we delve into that prep, the Remington Springboard Mile. In addition, we also preview the She’s All In... Read more »

Pass the Gravy sweeps Illinois-bred two-year-old male stakes

Before today, just two horses had won both the Sun Power Stakes and the Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity.  Rambling Richie did it for trainer Larry Rivelli in 2013, and Dom the Bomb performed the same feat for Rivelli in 2014.  This year, lightning struck thrice.  Rivelli sent out Pass the Gravy to victory in the... Read more »

San Luis Rey Fire Relief

Here in Chicago, we’re lucky.  As I gaze out over Hawthorne this morning, the only smoke I see comes from the stacks in Stickney, a few puffs here and there.  Contained.  Dissolving.  Gone in seconds.  Otherwise, the air is clear and cold. In California, they’re not so lucky. Rails, fences, and barn walls may make... Read more »

2017 Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity Preview

Saturday’s card features the final stakes race of the Hawthorne fall meet, the $50,000 Jim Edgar Illinois Futurity.  The race is the second stakes of the meet for Illinois-registered two-year-old colts and geldings.  The first, named after 1982 Futurity winner Sun Power, was won by Larry Rivelli trainee Pass the Gravy.  The son of Afleet... Read more »

COWGIRL CALLIE fights to victory in the Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante

Those who think of Hawthorne in the late fall as a dreary place would have had a hard time recognising it during today’s Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante.  The mercury rose into the mid-fifties, light bathed the fast dirt course, and the enthusiasm of Bob and Lynda Esposito beamed more brightly than the sun as their filly Cowgirl... Read more »